The Value of Baby Grand Pianos – Assessing Their Worth
When judging the value of baby grand pianos, there are many factors that must be considered in order to know you’re getting your money’s worth. But how best can you tell a baby grand is selling for its true worth? How best can you know whether a baby grand is undervalued or overvalued?
Well, I think it’s wise that we sit down and explore some of these questions to try to come up with a sensible understanding that makes sense.
What Are Baby Grand Pianos Worth?
The value of baby grand pianos range from $4,000 to $12,000 for a decent, used baby grand. The worth of a baby grand can vary from the brand, its condition, and its age. Generally, an older piano from an unrecognizable company will be cheaper than a notable brand (like Kawai, for example) from the same year. A company like Kawai is a recognizable company that has been making excellent pianos for decades.
This is not to say that a brand like Howard isn’t good or worth purchasing—it certainly can be if the piano has been taken care of in its past. Plus, Howard was a subsidiary of the Baldwin Piano Company, a company that was synonymous with quality and excellence.
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Assessing the Worth of Baby Grand Pianos
Now let’s take a quick look at a handful of baby grand pianos available for sale on the marketplace, and see whether or not it seems they are worth the money (or are over or undervalued).
1) We start with a 1936 Mason & Hamlin Model B Baby Grand piano for sale at the Piano Man Superstore in College Park, Maryland. It’s going for $12,500. With free local delivery and a free-in home tuning for the first thirty days, what not to love about this listing?
Here, we have a handful of pictures that show the piano inside and outside, and it is a beauty to behold. They certainly don’t make em’ like they used to, do they? I especially liked the “Centripetal Tension Resonation Patented” marking—circa 1905-on the frame here. It’s a great little detail of the care that this piano had when it was made back in the 1930s.
Now of course, this piano is very expensive. But my goodness, just look at the craftsmanship here. The inside of this piano is downright art and just a beauty to behold. This is one of those wonderful baby grand pianos that, to me, is well worth its money not just because its a vintage piano that’s almost 100 years old. It’s a well valued piano because of how good it sounds (check out the video below) and how well taken care of it’s been after all of these years.
2) Next up we have a 1950 Baldwin M Baby Grand for sale at Stilwell Pianos in Mesa, Arizona for the reasonable price of $7,490. In satin mahogany finish with a wet sand casted plate, this is a prime example of Baldwin at their finest. We not only have a mixture of pictures showing the piano was taken care of in its lifetime and maintained professionally by technicians, but we have a video. Videos, I stress, are important because they show you the piano in action if you’re not a Mesa local or can’t go there in person.
The piano is a five foot two inch instrument, falling in the dimensions of a baby grand.
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3) Our next baby grand in this showcase is a Cristofori “Opus II” OPG58 Ebony Satin for the low price of $6,499 for sale at Jordan Kitt’s Music, specifically their Rockville, MD location. This is a great baby grand for the price and it shows very little war and fatigue in the ebony finish, nor do we see any worn out keys.
While we don’t have more pictures or a video showing the piano in action, do contact them to test this piano out if you are in the Washington, D.C. area.
4) From Rick Jones Pianos in Beltsville, MD for sale is a 1993 Kohler & Campbell SKG-50 baby grand in stunning cherry finish for the price of $6,988. Made by Samick in Korea, this is a piano great for buyers with a limited budget, but are seeking a fair balanced piano in sound and touch. With a lifetime upgrade guarantee, ten-year warranty, and free local delivery, this is a steal!
We also have a video showing the piano in action and a slideshow of pictures with immense details. We see a few scuffs in the black keys and a few scratches in the finish, but this piano is in great condition. It’s obvious that this piano has been well kept in its life.
5) While this has been sold, it’s another important piano to highlight for readers looking to buy a baby grand. This is a 2005 Otto Altenburg OA-510L in stunning ebony finish for the price of $9,750 that was sold at Freehold Music Center in New Jersey. A South Korean made piano, this is still a stunning piano for its vintage look and its black finish. We also have the matching bench that compliments the ebony finish. We have no scratches to mention nor are the keys fatigued or showing signs of cracks; the finish looks brand new.
6) The last piano in our showcase is a Steinway Model O baby grand for the price of $13,776 and it is for sale at American Samaritan, a donation spot for pianos in the Denver, Colorado area. Do keep in mind that this piano has a crack in the soundboard, which they did note if you’re a local planning on buying a baby grand.
The pictures do leave a bit to be desired because they’re grainy and low quality. If you’re local, do plan on checking the piano out. If not, contact them and ask if they could send you a few clean pictures.
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Brands like Yamaha, Steinway and Sons, Kawai, and Bosendorfer are names that are recognizable and therefore will command higher prices because of their quality and excellence. This is especially true for pianos from decades before, as old as the 1950s or earlier, are higher because they are vintage.
Some pianos that don’t have a recognizable name, but are in a high price point are likely generally new, perhaps they are only ten to fifteen years old. In that case, they are still decent pianos because they have a lot of life left in them.
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Factors That Affect a Piano’s Value
Brand name can only go so far when it comes to a used baby grand piano price. For example, if we have a Yamaha that has been cosmetically abused or beaten up from years of poor maintenance, this would certainly affect the value of the instrument.
While that example may have a moderate affect because it is a Yamaha (and a piano can always be restored, although that does cost money), the fact remains that the condition a vintage piano is in matters considerably. Overall, the key factors to consider are the finish, the keys, tone/sound, and the interior mechanisms of the piano.
Let’s start out with the finish. If there are scratches or faded parts of the paint, then it will affect value. Like a car having rust areas in its paint, so will the piano lose its value because it is an aesthetic factor. While it doesn’t affect the playing, it is a factor to remember when discussing price.
Any cracks or damage on the body can hamper the sound and playability. As we have highlighted in the last Steinway piano, while it had a crack on the soundboard, they did tune it. But remember that a soundboard crack can affect the sound and value.
Then there are the keys. If the keys do not jump back to a resting place, that’s another factor affecting value.
Finally, there’s the tuning. If a piano hasn’t been tuned, it will not only sound bad, but it will be an extra cost that you, the buyer, will have to add to your budget if you plan on buying a piano that has yet to be tuned.
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